What can I expect at my consultation?
When you consult with one of our attorneys, you will discuss the specifics of your case and your options for how to proceed. The attorney will explain your rights under the law and will answer any questions you may have.
We understand that meeting with an attorney can be daunting, and we know that you may be feeling anxious about your situation. We will do our best to help you feel at ease when you meet with us as we answer your questions and provide you with clarity as to your rights and what to expect in your case. You will be encouraged to tell the attorney anything you wish about your case and discuss any concerns that you have.
Conversations with anyone at our firm are confidential. You should be as open and candid as possible to ensure that the attorney has all the information needed to help you and so you can leave our office with your questions answered.
Consultations generally last about an hour, but may be shorter or longer depending on your situation. The consultation will be billed at the attorney’s regular hourly rate. At the end of the consultation, the attorney will quote you a retainer based on your unique situation and will help you determine your next steps.
Will I have to go to court?
Only if it’s necessary. Hiring our firm doesn’t automatically mean you are headed to court; often, we can help keep you far away from a courthouse. We will advise you about your options, counsel you about the best way for you and your children to handle a situation, and help you reach your own agreements. We know that it’s almost always better for decisions about children to be made by their parents, not judges—and we can help you do just that.
Our attorneys are highly skilled negotiators, and we resolve most of our cases out of court. Still, there are always situations in which agreements don’t happen, and we advocate regularly in courtrooms throughout New Mexico on behalf of our clients and their children. If you do need to go to court, we will work with you so that you know what to expect and feel as comfortable as possible.
How long will it take to get divorced?
We know this is one of the most pressing questions on our clients’ minds, but unfortunately there is not an easy answer. If you and your spouse agree on all issues, your divorce can be finalized very quickly. If you don’t initially agree, the process will take longer as we work together to either reach an agreement or seek a final decision by the judge assigned to your case. The process can take months, and can go more quickly or slowly depending on the level of cooperation we receive from the other side. Our goal is always to resolve the issues as quickly as possible while ensuring that your rights are protected and you obtain a satisfactory result.
How much does an attorney cost?
We don’t have one-size-fits-all retainers; during your consultation, you will be quoted a retainer based on the issues in your case. We put your retainer in our trust account and charge you for the time we spend working on your case and you’ll receive a detailed monthly statement.
Our attorneys charge different hourly rates, but when you hire our firm, you are paying for over 130 years of collective experience. We collaborate as needed to ensure that your case receives the expertise it deserves. We are committed to resolving your case effectively without wasting your time or money. We know you’d rather spend your resources on your children, and our goal is to resolve your case efficiently so you can continue doing exactly that.
How do I choose a lawyer?
It is important to choose an attorney that you trust and feel comfortable with. Ask for referrals from attorneys you already know, or from friends that have gone through the divorce process. Make a list of what you are looking for in an attorney first and use it to guide you.
Ask the following questions when you meet for your initial consultation:
- What is your fee structure?
- Are there any out-of-pocket expenses that I will have to pay?
- How will we communicate and how often?
- How promptly are my phone calls and emails answered or returned?
Find out how experienced your attorney is. It is extremely important to know if the attorney has experience handling contested cases. Also how well your lawyer knows the Judges in the Court where your case will be filed.
After asking questions, trust your gut. If it does not feel right move on. If your intuition tells you this is an attorney you can trust, will work hard to protect your interests, and be willing to answer all questions, then you have probably made a good choice.